Watchdog overreaches on Children’s Hospital expansion
ONE OF the iron laws of public policy is that regulatory agencies have an irresistible tendency to push the limits of their power and authority. Whether it’s the environment, transportation, or health care, the agency seems compelled to prove the purpose of its existence by reaching ever further into the regulatory arena.
We saw a classic example of that recently when the Health Policy Commission inserted itself into Boston Children’s Hospital’s determination of need application to upgrade its facilities. This is the first time that the HPC has chosen to comment on a determination of need application, and it did it 10 months after the hospital first submitted its application to the Department of Public Health, which had launched an extensive public process with widespread commentary and analysis.
Widmer also wrote that “the Health Policy Commission should never have inserted itself into the process in the first place.”
What we wrote was that Widmer shouldn’t have been inserted into the Globe op-ed page without the paper noting that he serves on the Children’s Hospital Board Committee for Community Service.
Coincidentally (or not), Wednesday’s Globe also featured this full-page ad.
Conflict of interest, right?
Calls for full disclosure, right?
No such thing from the Globe.
So we sent this email to Globe editorial page editor Ellen Clegg:
[We] just published this post on Two-Daily Town.
[We] would welcome the opportunity to post your response.
[The Hardreading Staff]
So far . . . nothing.
No response from Ms. Clegg. No editor’s note about Widmer in the Globe. No nothing.
Except . . .
Another full-page ad in today’s Globe.
(Children’s is so desperate to burnish its image, the hospital even ran the ad in today’s Boston Herald.)
To recap: The Boston Globe ran an op-ed piece from a Children’s Hospital Board member (without identifying him as such) that promoted the hospital’s controversial expansion plan on the same day the paper ran a lucrative full-page ad promoting the hospital’s controversial expansion plan.
And then ran another lucrative ad.
That’s not journalism. That’s full-service marketing.
Globe editors should know better. Globe readers deserve better.